Our tip is to book early as this can save you up to 40% on hotel room costs, as you're not the only one, especially during the Christmas break, that is looking for sunny beaches.
Here are some of our personal recommendations, which are easy to reach from Moscow:
Phuket - The Slate
Usually we try new places every time, but the fact that we went here 3 years in a row to kick-off our Thailand holiday says enough. This stylish, yet cozy hotel has it all and is conveniently located 10 minutes from Phuket airport (direct flight from Moscow). Amazing industrial interior, spacious family rooms (D-buk suite), beautiful pools, kids club, tasty food, stylish restaurants, great service and located at the beach. It doesn't have a private beach, but for us this was only a benefit, because you get to taste the local vibe and food on the beach (try "Sea Almond" for the best curries and crab fried rice). Prices vary a lot ($200-700 per night) based on demand so play around with the dates and book early to get the best rate.
Koh Phangang - JAH Villa
If you're traveling with a group or two families this private villa is perfect! It's worth the effort of flying from Phuket to Koh Samui (1 hour) and then taking a ferry and taxi. The main house has 2 large bedrooms, a beautiful kitchen and living area with amazing views and there are 2 spacious bedrooms in a separate unit on the premises. Located on a hill it has spectacular views from anywhere in the house and from the large terrace with infinity pool. A local beach and restaurant is a 5 minute downhill walk (easy for kids), but take a scooter or motor-taxi to discover the great nearby bays and restaurants on this beautiful island. The perfect holiday house and easy to combine with a few nights at “The Slate” hotel!
Khao Lak - JW Marriott
Khao Lak is the perfect place if you're looking for picturesque palm tree lined, white sandy beaches. We went to the JW Marriott which can provide a pickup from Phuket airport (1,5 hour drive). Although the resort was a bit "massive" and impersonal to our taste, the location was perfect. Beautiful beaches with both private and local dining options. We preferred the more authentic (and cheap) beach restaurants located next to the resort, but for lunch or drinks the resort beach restaurant was a perfect place. The interior is a bit standard and uninspiring, but the setup of the resort is very creative with rooms&terraces that have direct access to the pool. You can swim your way throughout the resort and watch the sunset from the beach pool or enjoy the slide in the kids pool. Great option with kids!
Koh Samet - Paradee
We really like this hotel, since we have been here already 5 times, so we can definitely recommend it. Even-though it’s a bit exhausting to get there, it’s totally worth it. You fly to Bangkok, from there it’s a 2,5h ride to the pier and another 20min with the boat. You will arrive directly at the stunning white sandy beach. The bay is private, which is really nice, so you can totally relax, without getting disturbed.
All rooms of the hotel are little bungalows, with their own outdoor area, which have sun-beds and a small dining area. Optionally you can even book a room with your private pool or two bungalows directly next to each other. The style of the rooms is more simple, but still really nice. The main pool is directly next to the beach, which makes it easy to watch the kids while you can relax. They offer a lot of sport equipment like, kayak, sailing boats and surfboards etc. and the staff is really nice and kids friendly. They just have one restaurant at the hotel, which is ok, but not the most impressive food. But once a week they make a really nice bbq at the beach, which we recommend to try. If you want to explore the island, we recommend you to rent a scooter and check out the small bays.
For more photos and the link to the hotels check our blog.
Photo credits: Tripadvisor & resort webpages